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* Posts by Mike Pellatt

164 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Mike Pellatt

Re: The best weather forecasting...

I upvoted, rather than downvoted. Because in the short term (up to an hour or so out of the window, maybe 3 hours using the rain radar and extrapolating, as I often do), you're dead right.

As proof, how many times has the (local) radio, relying on the forecast, told us it's bright and sunny outside, when any fule can look out the window and see its peeing down. And vice-versa.

But for any time horizon beyond that, forget it. And your sage. And whether the cows are standing or not. You really, really do need some good mathematical modelling.

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SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?

Mike Pellatt

Re: Use a public provider?

Just make sure you have your data and your apps in more than one place.

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2013/02/07/2e2_data_centre_calamity/

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

Mike Pellatt

Re: Hmm,

Still, at least he hasn't fallen for something like the schoolboy error that Prof. Laithwaite did over gyroscopes, and think he's discovered perpetual motion.

Yet.

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Mike Pellatt

Re: Anyone remember the OSI protocols?

Not all the names you list weren't interested. Intel were well in there on OSI. They had a guy in EMEA, based in Swindon, dedicated to MAP/TOP. DEC, too, as someone else pointed out. And ICL.

From what I could tell later on when my then-company had an ICL connectivity product, was that it was the lack of mature routing and nameservice vis-a-vis TCP/IP that really did for OSI. Compared to TCP/IP, when properly configured, it ran sooooo much better over mobile networks.

Of course, we could argue how mature TCP-IP's routing is when core routers need 512KB+ routing tables....

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Mike Pellatt

Re: What essentially saved TCP/IP?

Also I'm bloody glad I've not needed to wage war against X.400 in the last 16+ years

Looked at Exchange Server addresses lately ?? :-)

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Steelie Neelie: Enjoy your EXCLUSIVE UHF spectrum in 2020, mobile operators

Mike Pellatt

Re: Give it all to us ..

Just a little bit of grist for the UKIP mill - but isn't the ITU the forum for spectrum allocation - current regulations being here: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2012 ? Europe being part of Region 1.

When did the Commissioner decide she'd taken over responsibility for this ?

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TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button

Mike Pellatt

Re: Source Material Quality

Yeah, but they've got sodding great dishes so a slightly heavy rainstorm won't cut the signal off. Or the neighbour's tree growing across the line of sight.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: That confirms what I thought.....(@Alister)

@Dan Paul: Thank you so much for enhancing the Brit stereotype of our transatlantic cousins as being unable to understand anything with ferrous content.

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Mike Pellatt

Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

Yep, Citadel is so simple to set up it's hard to believe it actually does what it says on the tin.

But it does.

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Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Mike Pellatt

Re: Proud Windows Idiot

....MS will licence BSD...

I suggest you read the BSD license. You will see that MS, along with every other individual and organisation in the world, already has one. As long as they comply with its terms.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: "a tool Microsoft uses to hide its source code from being copied"

It doesnt run code from the registry. The registry entries are passed to Javascript as a process start up command.

And that's functionally different from "running code from the registry" precisely how ??

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Mike Pellatt

In the modern world, where everyone moves around, and companies want economies of scale, decisions on spectrum usage are agreed internationally.

'twas always so. In the days when everything >300MHz was considered useless for anything except broadcast TV, the main reason was that the now pretty much unused (except for splurge from data over power devices and faulty ADSL/VDSL) frequencies <30MHz can travel worldwide, so international agreement was vital to avoid different services interfering with each other.

Then satellites came along, and for much the same reasons international agreement was vital.

Once upon a time, something like a third to a half of the spectrum from DC to 1GHz was allocated to TV. Now, that was wasteful

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Mike Pellatt

Re: Let's be clear on definitions and scope of territories

And Norway keeps voting not to join the EU....

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Democracy

Well that is Democracy by majority vote. AKA "The tyranny of the majority".

Democracy by consensus-seeking is another form of democracy.

Edit: Oh, I see Mr O'Sophicall made much the same point. Good :-)

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

Mike Pellatt
Facepalm

Re: Sometimes, nobody inside cares what *you* think

How is "localhost" ALWAYS turned into 127.0.0.1 ?? By calling the, errr, resolver library. Which will obey whatever rules are in its configuration to turn the string "localhost" into an IPv4 or IPv6 address.

This is known as resolving.

Or did I miss something ironic in your comment ?

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That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

Mike Pellatt

Re: What's to look forward to?

A Gb switch is still a Gb switch

Compare what's on the PCB of a current Gb switch with one manufactured 10 years ago. That will give the lie to your assertion that "There is no active development....". Of course, the goal of all that development was driving the manufacturing cost down (you know, commoditisation) rather than putting (mostly) all sorts of nice new shiny in so that Marketing can claim all sorts of new functionality.

Really, the software business model is completely out of kilter with every other product category in the industrialised world, and badly needs some serious disruption. The cloudy rental model isn't it. And I don't believe the problem is technological (software development models and all that)

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Mike Pellatt

Re: I knew that had got expensive... but not THAT expensive!

Can't say I'm surprised.

There's a trail of companies that used to be in components and either walked or died. Mostly the latter.

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Mike Pellatt

Oh yes, remember that.

They should have patented that business model and then gone after Monster.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: I knew that had got expensive... but not THAT expensive!

Upvote for your CPC recommendation.

Though their big catalogue is, well, BIGGGGGG. Received one at work and at home.

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Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Mike Pellatt

Re: But ...

I would have shared your pessimism.

But I suspect commercial, as well as technical, reality will endure this just doesn't happen.

After all, DAB has been such a success, hasn't it ?? And all new cars come with DAB radios that perform just fine, don't they, just like we were promised ??

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Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik

Mike Pellatt

Re: Politcs

Agreed, though it could be argued that the first will help bring about the rest.

Not convinced, myself, but as I say, it could be argued.

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London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'

Mike Pellatt
FAIL

Where to begin with just how crass and over-simplified this is ??

One other commentard has mentioned ITSO. Let's not forget that it's been 15+ years in the gestation. Roll it out on a grand scale now and the tech will have a few years rather than a couple of decades of life - not a good idea. As far as I can tell the delays have all been around the politics of its introduction rather than anything conceptual or technical. So maybe the goal of this outfit should be how transport operator contracts and regulations should be recast rather than anything else. Still that would be too much like addressing the root of the problem, wouldn't it ???

Look at Oyster - it took a combination of a loaded gun to the head and bribery to get the Train Operating Companies to accept it. Notwithstanding that, the stupid Oyster Extension Permit (OEP) for Oyster season ticket holders using PAYG balances to travel out-of-zone remained a non-negotiable for them. The implementation costs of that were wasted as the TOCs realised within a matter of weeks of rollout what everyone else was telling them - it did nothing to manage fare evasion and was as user-friendly as a cornered cat.

If TfL do manage to get a workable solution (including daily capping) using payment cards, just what will this bring to the table ??

Bizarre. Anyone would think there was an election round the corner. Oh, hang on.

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Measure for measure: We visit the most applied-physicist-rich building in the UK

Mike Pellatt

And how does an atom 'flip'?

As you're clearly too lazy to use Google, I used it for you. The search term "cesium clock operation" seemed like a good one. The link to How Stuff works sort of explained it but in a woolly way, but a snippet from here explains the physics very succinctly:

"The atoms in pure cesium exist mostly in two slightly different forms: A low energy form and one with just a bit more energy. For an atomic clock these two states have two properties critical to making a clock. One, they can be separated by a magnet. And two, the lower energy atoms can be converted to the higher energy ones if we bombard cesium with the right radiation."

The process of converting to a higher energy is what's referred to as "flipping" And it's the frequency of this "right" radiation that determines a second. HTH, HAND, and all that jazz.

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How I poured a client's emails straight into the spam bin – with one Friday evening change

Mike Pellatt

Re: Every sysadmin must make one really big screw-up in their career

Then there was the trainer (not me !!) at ... well, better not mention where....

He managed to delete all of /etc

Not just once

Not even twice

But three times (over a matter of weeks).

It was a long re-install (from floppies) on a 3B2. Oops, gave it away.

Some years later, I myself did manage to blow away /etc by mis-typing vi as ci. ci didn't check the inode type before doing its work. That hurt.

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Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse: All your data are belong to THEM

Mike Pellatt

Thanks for the heads-up. Shame it ends on Saturday, then, and I don't have a free evening before then

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Mike Pellatt

With its use of ... (a) partially borrowed script and threadbare plot, Privacy is more of a show than a play. But it’s a decent show.

If that's your premise, I'd wholly disagree.

Is it the show's intention to make us think, challenge our preconceptions, change our behaviours ?? If so, then a show won't do it. It needs to be theatre - proper theatre. I've done no stage stuff since my school years, but my son went from the Brit shcool to MMU Crewe's CTP course. I understand from him a little of how theatre should work, and always remember his utter disdain for the show of the Hutton Inquiry, where the thing was read out verbatim. This neither challenged the audience nor added anything to the corpus of knowledge - and from this description, it seems Privacy is much the same.

Still, maybe I should go see it just in case....

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Google brings futuristic Linux software CoreOS onto its cloud

Mike Pellatt

Re: memory- @Tom 7

C shell ?? Pah. That had history and in-line editing.

Real sysadmins used the Bourne Shell (mostly coz I started off on AT&T System III and we didn't have the C shell...)

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Mike Pellatt

Someone fell for the autocorrect

.....and Linux mainstay systems, which helps developers command a cluster of CoreOS machines.....

You meant systemd there, not systems.

I will not ignite a flameware here about the design of systemd......

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Google tells indie labels to take its YouTube deal or face OBLIVION

Mike Pellatt

...Google presumably also benefit from being able to say that *they* aren't making any editorial decisions about what gets published on their site

No. Google benefits from the massive advertising revenue they collect on aggregate from their services. Everything they do is predicated on maximising that, directly or indirectly. Period. Always bear that in mind when looking at their motivations.

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Builder could lose golden ticket to Google's King Cross chocolate factory

Mike Pellatt

Re: Taxes

NNDR does go to central government, but is then re-distributed back to local authorities as an element of the grant.

This is the reason that a 1% change in council spending translates to a 3% change in your council tax. Until this changes, there's no way that local authorities can be transparent or realistically accountable to their local electorate. As it is, they really are little more than an arm of central government. Whatever Eric Pickles might claim. And don't get me started on the proportion of our council tax that goes into the unsustainable local government pension scheme.

I speak as one who, back in the day, was told off like a naughty schoolboy by a minister for breaching their limit on council tax rise by <0.1%.

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Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

Mike Pellatt

Re: Clouds are so last week

You should be cynical about the IoT. In particular, the security capabilities of the average device.

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Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer – advice from US, UK, EU

Mike Pellatt

Re: Active X is the root of all evil

They really ought to be sued for not taking Active X out back and replacing it with a proper sandbox system.

No. They really ought to sued for ignoring everyone with the slightest bit of ITSEC understanding who told them long and loud that ActiveX Was A Really Bad Idea. Their feeble, pathetic response was "it's what our users want". I don't think their users really wanted their machines pwned. Perhaps they asked their users the wrong question.

The history of ActiveX ever since it escaped has been trying to fix all the holes that everyone told them it would have.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: This sort of thing doesn't happen

This is the future of computing - machines that spend 100% of their processing power on security algorithms and that do zero actual work. Correct that - this may actually be the current state of computing.

It most definitely is the current state of computing. I well remember Intel suggesting that the advantage of a second core (when the first dual-core CPUs came out) was that it could run the AV software while the first core did real work (since of course no software was multi-threaded back then)

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Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN

Mike Pellatt

"There is an ofcom guideline NICC ND1016 which states that a callerid which is set by the carrier should be correct so that a call made back to that number should reach the original caller."

Which is of course honoured far more in the breach than the observance.

You ever tried calling back a silent direct marketing call ?? Or one of those with a UK number that are clearly coming from a sweatshop call centre in Mumbai/Durban/etc ?

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Mike Pellatt

Re: CLI freely spoofable on ISDN

Whereas that wasn't the case for me. Did you test more than one ISDN circuit ?? If not, it might have been misconfigured at the exchange (By BT ?? Shurely not !!)

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Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Mike Pellatt

Re: The problem isn't Copyright, it's the corporations.

@rm -rf /

Where to begin ?? Probably with your attempt at a parallel with pubs. As ever, their demise is not down to a single factor, but that unfortunate nexus of a number of things taking place. I'd argue that the legislation to end tied houses was (what a surprise) poorly thought out and drafted, and led to Punch and the other companies setting themselves up as highly-geared property companies. Add to this the value of the sites either as housing or local Tescos/Sainsburys and then, even before we get to the changes in drinking/socialising habits, it gets hard for a pub to be profitable.

So... on to whether copyright is useless ?? Absolutely not. Without copyright law, then Creative Commons licenses wouldn't exist. The ability for someone creative to have a range of choices as to how their creation is used, with or without payment, is crucial to protecting that creativity. The removal of the middle man is the great effect of mass electronic communication, and has hardly begun to play out.

The artists I've discovered through the internet have led to me finding out about gigs I'd never have known about - and paid for - otherwise.

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Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

Mike Pellatt

Re: Maintenance

@ChrisMiller - The IBM I/O channel was so well-specified that it was pretty much a standard. Look at what the Systems Concepts guys did - a Dec10 I/O and memory bus to IBM channel converter. Had one of those in the Imperial HENP group so we could use IBM 6250bpi drives as DEC were late to market with them. And the DEC 1600 bpi drives were horribly unreliable. The IBM drives were awesome. It was always amusing explaining to IBM techs why they couldn't run online diags. On the rare occasions when they needed fixing.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Mike Pellatt

Re: So does OSX and Linux...

He's used Ubuntu for years but had swapped it for MacOS because the updates continually broke stuff

That's the price you pay for using a distro that "is never more than six months away from the latest version of anything in the open-source world." (http://www.ubuntu.com/about/about-ubuntu/ubuntu-and-debian). It's too bleeding-edge for stability - if you want that, use RedHat/Centos or Debian.

Horses for courses, old chap.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: XP will only be insecure if connected

I have a "customer" (in the sense that it's the precision engineering firm that my wife's ex used to own/run and I help them out occasionally) who has an NC machine tool controlled by a PC.

It runs Windows 95. The hardware includes a Hercules graphics card and one of those multi-serial boards. The issue isn't the software - coz of course it will never, ever see the internet or a USB device and It Just Runs (tm). The worry is the hardware. Three years ago I sourced a populated motherboard, a herc graphics card and a hard disk that are pretty much identical to the system, and cloned the software it onto the hard drive. I doubt I could obtain them now. The only worry is that multi-serial card. I have no idea if/when they'll replace that machine tool. All I know is it meets their needs today, which are of course driven by their customers.

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'Catastrophic' server disk-destroying glitch menaced Google cloud

Mike Pellatt
Facepalm

Re: This makes no sense

Maybe it's my Unix background, but I know that if i tell the system to delete something, the inode's listing will be removed from the directory I deleted from, But if the inode is listed in another directory somewhere else, the data will still be on the disk. And if the inode is open in a running process, the data will remain on the disk until the process exits or otherwise closes the inode.

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'Amazon has destroyed the unicorn factory' ... How clouds are making sysadmins extinct

Mike Pellatt

I'd have thought that the reason there are so few people on the job market who've gone through the pain of going from 500 servers to 10000+ is:

a) There aren't that many organisations who've done it.

b) For those who have done it, they recognise that keeping the skilled people who did it (and gained said skills through doing it) is crucial to their ongoing business success. So everything is done to keep them sweet.

Until, of course, the organisation changes ownership, at which point all bets are off.

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A potted history of cloud computing

Mike Pellatt

Re: Oh the security....

The Due Diligence issues can be summarised in one word

2e2

All the while an administrator (financial, that is, not systems) can say "Pay us more than you agreed to contractually or we won't return access to your data to you", just what cost/reliability improvements are really there vs rolling your own, if you properly risk-manage this ELE possibility ??

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Big Data is like TEENAGE SEX

Mike Pellatt

He cannot be serious. Oh, he is....

Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft [.....] agreed the "main challenge is the human element" as big data forces a change to scientific approach - moving from trying to work out why something happens to a "world of correlation based on sample sizes".

Errr, WTF ?? Yes, statistical correlation based on sample size is useful to validate theories (cf Higgs Boson, etc) - but that's based on a prediction of what should be observed if a theory about "why" is correct.

You don't, and can't, work the other way round. You may get a clue from correlation as to the "why", but that's just a pointer for further research and then working out a further set of predictions that you then validate experimentally.

For the result of applying correlation directly to causation, just look at all the crappy public health policies we've had over the last couple of decades, some of which are at last unravelling.

No wonder HP found Autonomy wasn't worth as much as they thought.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Mike Pellatt

Re: Interest

nah, I learnt Algol 68 on an ICL1902 (I think it was) at Kingston Poly in the summer of '72, between Lower VI and Middle VI.

Mind you, our Head of Maths had been offered a redundant IBM M/F but we didn't have the space. Or big enough incoming mains. That would have been fun.

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Hands up if you have one good reason to port enterprise apps to ARM

Mike Pellatt

Re: Windows

I've used Microsoft Exchange a few times over the years, but it is a pain to configure and still needs a lot of work.

The latest complaint from my users is that as soon as they change a new appointment to "all-day", it automagically changes the status from "busy" to "free". Which leads to appointments being put into peoples' holidays, unless they notice this and change it back again. Needless to say, googling reveals lots of moans about this and the inevitable "fix" that "fixes" an entirely different issue, nevertheless being flagged as the "answer" by some Microsoft forum moderator.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Windows

"The first person to create a Linux-on-ARM compatible drop-in Exchange replacement will become a very rich person indeed. But to the best of my knowledge it hasnt happened yet."

OpenChange ??

http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=openchange

I see arm in the available architecture list....

Not, of course, that a few people will become rich on the back of this. But plenty will make a decent living, which is acceptable to me.

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Fasthosts goes titsup after storm-induced power outage

Mike Pellatt

Re: A timely reminder to all

The most recent timely reminder (before this one) was that O2 wholesale outage in Northamptonshire (and surrounding areas) when it turned out that Level 3 had a PoP in a light industrial unit, when an adjacent unit caught fire. So much for VESDA and automated fire extinguishing systems...

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HTC: Shipping Android updates is harder than you think – here's why

Mike Pellatt

Re: The real biggest holdup

How I wish I could upvote that 100 times. Closed hardware is the biggest barrier to Android updates and alternative "ROM"s - look at devices like the Galaxy Y S5360 with the Broadcom BCM21553 chipset - which doesn't have an updated BLOB so no chance of Cyangenmod running on it - even if it did have enough memory.

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